Morning Meeting: Group Activities Karie Aldrich Mathews Elementary
Song- Bang, Bang Choo Choo Train
Class: "Bang Bang Choo Choo, train watch ____ (name) do his thing." Student: "I can’t!" (use a dramatic voice) Class: "Why not?" Student: "Because I can’t!" (continue with dramatic voice) Class: "Why not?" Student: "Because my back is aching and my shoes are too tight and my hips are shaking from the left and to the right!" (use actions to dramatize) Call to the next student and continue the chant around the circle.
Song- Black Socks
Black socks, then never get dirty,
The longer I wear them, the stronger they get!
Sometimes, I think I should wash them
But something inside me keeps saying ”Not Yet! Not Yet! Not Yet!”
Bo bo ski wattin’ tattin’ Ah, ah, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Itty bitty wattin’ tattin bo bo ski wattin’ tattin. Bo bo ski wattin’ tattin’ boom. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Players stand in a circle with their right hands in their neighbors left hand. One at a time, going around the circle, players will slap their neighbors hand with their right hand, while singing the song. If on the count of ten the hand is slapped, the slappee is out. If the hand is missed, the slapper is out. The point of this game is to eliminate people from the circle until there is only one person left. When there are only two people left, they arm wrestle back and forth to the song until the count of ten. At that point, whoever forces the other down wins. The point of a game/song like this is to take up time while waiting for an activity or meal to start.
How To Play: Students repeatedly say the following chant and act out different characters each time. Leader: "Let me see your boogalu" Group: "What’s that you say?" Leader: "I said, Let me see your Boogalu.” Group: "What’s that you say?" Leader: "I say Oo oo oo oo oo oo oo" (action and a rhythm) Group: Repeats chant and actions and rhythm of the leader Repeat the chant with a new leader, or keep the same leader, replacing “boogalu” with another subject. For example: Leader: "Let me see your Frankenstein" "Let me see your beauty queen" "Let me see your rock star…"
Song Boom Sha Boom
Standing in a circle, all players start by clapping their own hands together in front of themselves and then clapping hands with the person on either side of them simultaneously. The players form a rhythm using the following chant: Czechoslovakia, Boom Sha Boom (all clap in rhythm in a circle) Yugoslavia, Boom Sha Boom (all clap in rhythm in a circle) Let’s get the rhythm of the hands (pause clapping) (all clap three times) Let’s get the rhythm of the feet (all stamp feet three times) Let’s get the rhythm of the arms Uh-1, uh-2, uh-3 (raise one arm up, then the other, and then lower both) Let’s get the rhythm of the eyes (Bend both arms low to the ground and raise them up as the voice goes from low to high and say, “Whew!”)
First the first time through the song, pat your hands on your legs twice and then clap your hands twice. Next verse, clap your hands twice while sliding the hands from side to side. Third verse, pat your hands on your thighs twice and then slap your left hand to your right elbow and then right hand onto your left elbow. In the words of Mike Salins, make the genie pose. The song should be sung to the same rhythm each verse.
Song- My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean
My bonnie lies over the ocean My bonnie lies over the sea My bonnie lies over the ocean Oh bring back my bonnie to me Bring back, bring back, Oh bring back my bonnie to me to me Bring back, bring back, Oh bring back my bonnie to me With this version you can get everyone to stand up or sit down or put their hands up in the air or down,whatever you want really, every time a word starting with B is sung. So on the first bonnie you stand up,and on the second you sit down etc. You can then make it as complicated as you want by splitting the audience in 2 aand having them do the opposite actions to eachother.
Song-Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Gently Down the Stream
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
Life is But a Dream
Each time you sing it through you omit one word from the ending until there are no words remaining.
Song- Stay on the Sunny Side
Stay on the Sunny Side,
Always on the sunny side
Stay on the sunny side of life!
You’ll be to blame if we drive you insane, so just stay on the sunny side of life!
(for the verses someone tells a riddle and everyone groans and the song goes on.)
Waddly acha, waddly acha. Doodly do, doodly do. Waddly acha, waddly acha. Doodly do, doodly do. Some folks say there isn't much to it; all you gotta do is doodly do it. Waddly acha waddly acha. Doodly doodly do hey.
Okay, the hand motions are hard to explain but here goes. Pat you thighs on the "waddlys". Clap your hands on the "achas". On the "doodlys", put your right hand on your nose and your left on your right ear. Your hands and wrists should be crossed. On the "doos", reverse that and put your right hand on your left ear and your left hand on your nose. Finally, during the third line, shuffle your hands on top of each other in front of your chest or clap your hands while making them go from side to side.
Song- Wake up
"I woke up this morning and I ___________ out of bed, Shuffled to the kitchen and I got myself fed Now I’m going to put something in my head Gonna read, gonna write, gonna try with all my might Singin’ doo-wah diddy-diddy dum diddy dum" (Repeat “doo-wah …” quietly and then loudly) "All right" (clap on these words)
How To Play: The leader chooses a current topic of study. A player begins by saying, “I am going (name an activity relevant to the topic) and I will be looking for (name specific examples relevant to the activity/topic) ”. The next player names her example and the previous players’ examples. Play continues until all players have had a chance to speak.
How to Play: One person is chosen to leave the room as the Detective. When the person is out of the room, the leader chooses one person to be the perpetrator of the mishap and he decides what the mishap is to be. Everyone has to think of an alibi for where they were when the mishap or crime took place. (E.g., The trash can was knocked over. The person was seen eating an éclair in an art museum.) When the Detective returns, the leader tells her what crime has occurred. The Detective then goes around the circle asking each person for their alibi—“Where were you at the time of the crime?” Each player gives an alibi while the detective listens carefully. After the Detective has gone around the circle once, she goes around a second time in the same order as before, and asks the same question. Each person must give the exact same alibi as before except for the student who has been chosen as the guilty person. The guilty person changes their alibi slightly. For example, the first time the guilty person says, “I went to the park.” The second time the guilty person says, “I went to the pool.” The Detective gets three chances to guess the identity of the criminal. Afterwards, a new Detective is chosen.
Game- All Hit Moon Ball
How To Play: All players scatter on a basketball court or open field. Use a well-inflated beach ball as the object of the play. Depending on the group’s size, introduce one or more beach balls. More beach balls create more challenge for the group. The group’s objective is to hit the ball aloft as many times as possible before the ball strikes the ground. Depending upon the skill of the group, you can set goals of increasing numbers of hits (30, 50, 75, 100 and so) to add challenge and incentive for cooperation.
Game- Animal Sounds Match
Materials: Pairs of farm animal picture cards How to Play: Give each player a card at which only he or she looks. To begin, players make the sound of the animal on their cards. Players move around the circle until they find their match. When matched, they stop making the sound and stand together until everyone is matched up. At the conclusion, each pair can make their sound for the group.
Game- Bippity Bop Bop Bop
How to Play: The person who is It walks around the circle. It tells a student to make one of three poses - Elvis, Elephant or Surfer Dude. The poses, however, require three people to make. The person that is told to do the pose is the middle person and the two students sitting on either side must help. With the Elvis pose, the middle person poses with a guitar and acts like she is playing, the two on the sides are the adoring fans, fanning Elvis with hands overhead. The Surfer Dude is in the middle and acting like he is on a surfboard while the two on either side are the waves with hands waving below (by the waist). The Elephant is in the middle joining her two hands together to make the trunk and the two on the sides put their arms in a “C” shape to make large ears facing the elephant. The person who is It tries to say “Elephant, Bippity Bop Bop Bop” before the three people can create the pose. Whoever doesn’t manage to strike his part of the pose, becomes It.
Game- Build a Sentence
Materials: Paper or note cards, pencils How To Play: Partner the players. Players brainstorm a list of words with four to six letters (in a category works well). Each partnership chooses a word. They then create a sentence by using each letter in their word as a beginning letter for the words. For example: BEAR Better eat and run! Each partner pair shares its sentence with the whole group. You can continue a few more times with other words from the brainstormed list. Plan for Success: Try a few samples together with the whole class. With younger students, use wall words or three-letter words to begin. Variations/Extensions: Choose one word and see how may different sentences the students can create.
How To Play: Around the room or circle, players count sequentially. Each time a multiple of 7 or number with 7 in it is named, the player whose turn it is must say “Buzz.” EXAMPLE: Players count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Buzz, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, Buzz, 15, 16, Buzz, and so on. When a mistake is made, players start again.
For added difficulty add Bops at every multiple of 5.
Game- Catch my Clap
How To Play: This is a good transition activity. There is no talking in this game. One player is the leader. All players rub their hands together. They watch the leader and when she claps, they try to clap in unison.
Game- Category Snap
The group sits in a circle. The leader starts a rhythm using a sequence of knee slap, handclap, right-hand finger snap, left-hand finger snap. The leader then announces a category, such as fruits, on the right-hand finger snap and names an example, such as apples, with the left-hand finger snap. The next person in the circle must be ready to name the leader’s fruit with the right-hand finger snap and then a different fruit with the left-hand finger snap: knee slap, hand clap, “apples, apricots.” The play continues around the circle. Once an item has been named, it cannot be used again.
Game- Chain Reaction
This game works like Telephone. The class forms a line facing the same direction. The last player taps the person in front of them, asks her to turn around, and makes three actions just one time. That player taps the player in front of her to turn around. She repeats the three actions one at a time. The three actions move down the line until they reach the front. The first player in line goes to the back to show the three actions to the last player—the originator of the chain reaction.
How To Play: Leader prepares a list of vocabulary words. One student or a group of students acts out vocabulary words while the rest of the class tries to guess which word is being acted out.
Game- Chase the Caboose
Players sit in a circle. One player is chosen to be It and stands in the middle (this will create an open chair). The player who is It then tells the circle members sitting on either side of the open chair which direction the circle should move. Circle members then begin to move to the next chair in the designated direction as an open seat becomes available to them. It tries to sit in an open chair. When she succeeds, the player left standing is It and the game begins again.
This game incorporates Rock, Paper, Scissors into the following characters and actions: Coconut (walking on knees or squatting with bent knees) Palm Tree (swaying arms overhead) Volcano (jumping using arms as lava) King or Queen Kamehameha (doing a princess wave) All players start as a coconut. They find another coconut and play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Whoever wins, evolves and becomes a palm tree, whoever loses remains a coconut. Palm trees then find other palm trees and repeat the Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winner goes on to being a volcano and the loser becomes a coconut. Players try to move up to king or queen, but the game is continuous.
How to Play: One player leaves the group and stands where she/he cannot see the group. The group chooses a leader who does a movement, such as tapping his toe, which the others follow. The leader changes the movement regularly and the others follow the leader’s movement. The hidden player returns, stands in the middle of the circle, watches the movements and tries to guess who the leader is. The player in the middle has three chances to identify the leader. After the leader has been identified or the player in the middle has had three guesses, another leader and guesser are chosen to continue the game.
Game- Crows and Crains
(outside game) Materials: An open space with marked boundaries, a center line, and a safety zone for two groups How to Play: Create two equal groups and have them stand in two lines facing the center. A caller will say either “Crows” or “Cranes.” If the caller says, “Crows,” the crows will cross over the center line and try to tag the Cranes before they reach their safety zone. If a Crow tags a Crane, she will come to the other side and become a Crow. The process continues with the caller and each group acting accordingly. Plan for Success: Model and practice safe tagging (shoulders, back, arms) and the Tagger’s Choice rule (if the tagger says he got you, he did). Be sure to review good sportsmanship as some students will have to change sides.
Game- The Cup Game
How To Play: Seated in a circle on the floor, start with cups upside down in front of players. Perform the following movements and sounds in unison. PART ONE Beat 1: clap Beat 2: clap Beat 3: tap cup bottom twice Beat 4: tap cup bottom once Beat 5: clap Beat 6: raise cup a few inches off floor Beat 7: place cup down again Beat 8: rest PART TWO Beat 1: clap Beat 2: grasp cup with right hand Beat 3: “pop” the open end of cup against the left palm held flat Beat 4: place cup down, upside down Beat 5: lift cup to place its bottom in the left palm. Grasp cup with left hand. Beat 6: slap floor with right hand Beat 7: using left hand, pass the cup in front of person on right. Place cup upside down. Beat 8: rest
Game- Crazy Chairs
How To Play: Students sit in a circle. One person is chosen to be It and stands in the middle of the circle (this will create and open chair). It then tells the circle members sitting on either side of the open chair which direction the circle should move. Circle members then begin moving in that direction as seats becomes available to them. It tries to work her way into the moving circle to occupy an empty chair. The person whose chair It takes becomes the new It.
Game- Doing the Rumba
How To Play: Players are in a circle. One player begins making dance gestures while saying, “This is the way to do the Rumba.” Everyone mimics the action. The next player says, “No, this is the way to do the Rumba” and adds another action. The group adds the second move to the first, mimicking both moves. The third player says, “No, this is the way to do the Rumba,” adding a new gesture. The group repeats all three actions in order and the game progresses in this manner around the circle.
Game- Elbow Tag
(Outside Game) Materials: Large outdoor space marked with game boundaries How To Play: All players form pairs, except for two. Pairs stand side-by-side, hands on hips and elbows hooked together. Pairs randomly scatter in the playing area. Of the unpaired players, one is the chaser (It) and the other is the tagee. Simple tag is played with the two free players and they switch roles as the It tags the tagee. To avoid being tagged the tagee can run between the pairs with hooked arms or hook onto the free elbow of any player. Now the tagee is safe as is the player with whom she hooked elbows, but the other half of that pair now must run away from It or be tagged. Plan for Success: Review safe tagging (shoulders, back, arms) and the Tagger’s Choice rule (if the tagger says she got you, she did). Model and practice safe hooking of elbows and movement (walking or running) within the boundaries.
Game- Elephant, Palm Tree, Boat
How to Play: The group sits in a circle. The teacher points to a player and says her name, following immediately with the name of one of three objects: Elephant, Palm Tree, or Boat. For example, the teacher says, “Sandra, elephant.” This player and the players immediately to the right and to the left, stand. The three players then pantomime the named object, using the following specific movements. Elephant – To mimic a trunk, the center player joins both arms together, points them downward, and sways them from side to side. The two players on either side make half-circles with their arms to suggest ears. Palm Tree – To mimic windblown fronds, the center player raises both arms high in the air and sways them. The other two players hold their arms out to the side and wave them like a hula dancer. Boat – Pretending to be a pirate, the center player stands on one leg, covers one eye with one hand, and salutes with the other. The players on either side paddle the boat. When the trio has successfully pantomimed the object, the teacher points to another student and says, for example, “Shona, boat.” Shona then becomes the middle person of the next trio, who will pantomime a boat.
Game- Everybody’s it Tag
(Outside Game) How to Play: Select a caller. When the caller says, “Everybody’s It”, students chase each other. When one student tags another, the tagged student remains frozen. If two students tag each other at the same time, they can decide whether to freeze or keep running. After a few minutes or when a lot of people are frozen, the caller shouts “Everybody’s It” again and all students are unfrozen and running again. Plan for Success: Be sure that the boundaries are small (at first) and well defined. You can gradually increase the play space when students are successful with the game. Model how to run with students. Sometimes the power walk works well with students. Remember also to model and practice a safe touch and the Tagger’s Choice rule (if the tagger says he got you, he did).
Game- Fact or Fiction
How To Play: A student is chosen to tell three things about herself: two are facts and one is fiction. The other players raise their hands and try to guess which one is fiction. The player who guesses is the next one to tell three things, or you can take volunteers. After two wrong guesses it is obvious which one is fiction!
Game- Four Corners
How to Play: Outdoor Version Divide class into four groups. The groups stand at four corners of a field. Every group has a flag, or cloth, of a different color (4 colors total) and every group member wears his or her flag loosely enough so that it is easy to grab and detach. Players cannot hold onto their flags with their hands or tie it to themselves. Players cross the field, trying both to grab others’ flags and reach the opposite corner without losing their own. Anyone who loses a flag remains frozen in the spot where she lost it on the field. In the next round of crossings, these frozen players also try to grab the flags of the runners while the runners are trying to grab each others. The game ends when there are few or even just one player left with a flag. Another possible ending is that the final runners try to get across, which is nearly impossible since there are by that time so many flag-grabbers spread out all around the field. Indoor Version Four groups stand in four corners of a room. A caller in the center closes his eyes and says, “Corners.” While his eyes are closed, the students silently change corners. The caller then names a corner by saying North, South, East, or West. If players are standing in the corner that is called, they are out. The game continues until the four corners are clear. Variations/Extensions: This game works best with topics on which students have a variety of opinions; current events in particular work well. Corners or areas of the room are labeled with the signs: agree, disagree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree. The leader makes statements about a chosen topic. With each statement, students move to the sign which corresponds to their response. Before making the next statement, the leader can ask several students to explain why they chose that specific corner.
Game- Gone Missing
How To Play: Two players are sent out of the room. Then one of the remaining players leaves the circle and hides out of sight. When the two players return, they try to name the missing player. Variations/Extensions: When the two players return, each tries to be the first to name the missing player. At times, more than one person may go missing. Also, if selecting more than one person to go missing, those gone missing may have something in common: EXAMPLES: Those not wearing jeans Those without braces
Game- Grandmother’s Trunk
How to Play: Begin the activity by saying, “I’m going on a trip, and I need to pack my grandmother’s trunk.” The first child then says what they will pack in the trunk. For example, “I’m going on a trip, and I’m taking my bike.” Each child in the circle then adds one item to the trunk. “I’m going on a trip, and I’m taking my bike and my sneakers.” “I’m going on a trip, and I’m taking my bike, my sneakers, and a baseball.” And so on around the group. Variations/Extensions: Similar to "Going on a Trip
Like rock paper scissors. Stand back to back say the following saying and then count down from 5. At one you both turn and act either the Gorilla, Ninja, or Cowboy. Follow the saying and if you loose your out.
“ Gorilla beats the ninja, ninja beats the cowboys, cowboy beats the gorilla, and if you snooze, you loose.”
Game- Hot Potatoe
Materials: Any small object to pass How to Play: Players sit in a circle. A “hot potato” (beanbag or ball) is passed around the circle until a player standing outside the circle calls, “Hot potato!” The player with the potato in her hands at this moment starts a separate potato caller circle, calls out a number. Those in the potato caller circle count off to this number and end by saying, “Hot potato!” in unison. The game continues until all but two players have moved to the potato caller circle. Most players have no sense of winning or losing in this game, as it’s fun to be in either circle.
How To Play: Two equal lines are formed with students holding hands. A squeeze is passed down the lines as quickly as the players can. When the leader says, “Go,” the squeeze is passed through the line until it reaches the end. The last person to receive the squeeze reaches for a ball/beanbag. The team to get the ball/beanbag first is the winner.
Game- I want a Comfy Chair
How to Play: The leader must count off the group consecutively, telling everyone to remember their number (the leader takes the last number). The object of the game is for the It to get a seat. This can happen in two ways: 1) “My chair is hard” It goes up to any player and asks, “How do you like your chair?” If the answer is “My chair is hard” the It then asks, “Which chair would you rather sit in?” The player has to give two numbers (2 and 15, for example). Instantly, two players who have those numbers and their two neighbors must exchange chairs. While this is happening, the It tries to get a seat. After the exchange, the player remaining without a seat is the new It. 2) “My chair is soooo comfy” The It asks, “How do you like your chair?” If the answer is “My chair is soooo comfy,” all players must change chairs while the It tries to get a chair. The player remaining without a chair is the new It.
Chant-I sit in the Grass
How To Play: Everyone sits in the circle with one extra, open chair. Students say the chant in order around the circle. The chant can go either direction, but always starts with the person next to the empty chair. As they say their words, they move into the empty chair. 1st student: “I sit” (moves) 2nd student: “In the grass” (moves) 3rd Student: "With my friend ____.” (name person across the circle to come and take the empty chair next to them) After each round of the chant, there will be an empty chair from which the chant and the movement start again. The object is to go quickly and allow everyone to move.
How to Play: Divide students into groups of four to six players. Players stand in a circle. They place their right arms into the circle and grab a hand across from them. Each player does the same thing with his left arm. (Each player should now have two different players’ hands.) Now all the players are connected in a big knot that they must untangle without letting go of their partners’ hands. The group discusses and strategizes different possible ways of untying the knot.
Game- Now the News
How To Play: A player starts a “news” story by beginning to tell a story about himself or someone else doing his hobby. For example, a player who loves to go to movies could start her story: “One day when I was checking out the movie page in the newspaper….” Then the next player continues the story with a phrase or two; and the next player adds, and so on. You can go all the way around, or stop after five to eight people.
Game- Off my Back
How to Play: The person who is It stands by the white board facing the class. The teacher writes a number on a sticky note and sticks it on Its back. It turns around so the class can see the number. It then asks “yes-or-no”-questions about that number such as “Is it bigger than 10…” which the class answers. Provide a number line on the white board to be used to help students see how to narrow the guesses and what is left. When it is down to two numbers they guess one and then take the number off their back.
Game- Pass the Chicken
Materials: A rubber chicken or other object to pass; prepare the topic cards for this game in advance. How To Play: In this game, nobody wants to hold the chicken. Everyone sits in a circle. Select someone to be It; that player starts with the chicken. The teacher or a caller says to It (for example), "Name five American presidents. Pass the chicken!" As soon as the caller says "Pass the chicken," It passes the chicken to the right and begins following the direction (in this example, by naming presidents) as the chicken gets passed around the circle. If the chicken returns to It before It correctly follows the direction, she remains It. If It responds correctly before the chicken returns, the player holding the chicken when the response is completed (in this example, when It says the fifth president’s name) becomes the new It.
How to Play: Around a circle each player counts off by ones. This counting game requires that you agree ahead of time by what counting rule you are going to send the action around the circle: counting by twos, threes, fives, tens, etc. To begin, the player that is number five says “Pop!” and sits down. Following the predetermined rule, successive players say, “Pop!” and also sit down. The game continues in this fashion until only one player is left standing.
How To Play: In this game, players make a series of sounds that imitate the coming and going of a rainstorm. Select a leader for the game who initiates the sound in the following order: 1) Rub palms together repeatedly 2) Snap fingers 3) Pat hands on thighs, alternating right and left 4) Stomp feet or clap hands on floor 5) Clap hands loudly Reverse order of sounds 6) Stomp feet or clap hands on floor 7) Pat hands on thighs, alternating right and left 8) Snap fingers 9) Rub palms together repeatedly The sounds travel around the circle with each player waiting to make the sounds until it reaches his or her neighbor. The leader waits to change to the next sound until the sound she initiated comes back to her after traveling around the circle. In this way the sounds build and change simulating the rainstorm.
Game- Rhyming Charades
How To Play: The teacher begins by saying, “I am thinking of a word that rhymes with cat.” Players who think they know a word go to the center of the circle and pantomime their guesses. For example, a player may go to the center of the circle and flap his arms like a bat. The others in the circle try to guess what the player in the center is miming. The player who correctly guesses the mimed word then has a chance to guess the teacher’s word. Variations/Extensions: Alphabet charades can be played in the same manner. For example: “I am thinking of an animal that begins with the letter B.” “I’m thinking of an animal that begins with C and ends with T.”
Game- Silent Spelling
Materials: List of spelling words How To Play: Display a list of already familiar spelling words. Each student is given a letter card that can be used to spell one of the spelling words. Have someone call out one of the spelling words. The students who have a letter card that can be used in that spelling word stand up and the group works together silently to form a line with the letters in the correct order.
Materials: List of spelling words seen only by teacher How To Play: Everyone stands in a circle. Teacher states a word from the list. The first player repeats the word. The second player begins spelling the word by saying the first letter. Moving around the circle in sequence, players spell the word, one letter at a time, until the word is completely spelled. The next player says the word again (think of a spelling bee procedure). The next in line says, “Sparkle!” and sits down. If the word has been spelled correctly, the teacher says so and a new round moves around the circle with a new word. If the word has not been spelled correctly, the teacher says so and asks the players to huddle to find the error. The players then try again to spell the word until it is spelled correctly. The game ends when all players are seated or when all words on the list have been correctly spelled.
Game- Team Rock, Paper, Scissors
(Outside Game) How to Play: Divide players into two teams. Each team decides on first and second signs to use for Rock, Paper, Scissors, in case the first round results in a tie. After the teams huddles, they line up facing each other in the center of the playing field. The teams say, “Rock, Paper, Scissors!” and flash their signs. The team that wins the round tries to tag the other team as they run back to their safe zone. If they get tagged, they join the winning team. The game begins again with the huddle and continues.
Game- That’s Me!
How to Play: A designated first player in the circle makes a personal statement such as, “I have two brothers.” Anyone else in the circle that has two brothers takes a step in, raises his hand and says, “That’s me.” The next player in the circle makes another statement such as, “My favorite color is red.” All players to whom that the statement applies take a step into the circle, raise their hands and say, “That’s me.” You continue around the circle until everyone has had a chance to make a statement.
How to Play: Players walk around within the designated boundary after the caller says, “All hands on deck!” The caller then can change the command to one of the choices listed below. The commands require players to regroup in different ways. Return to “All hands on deck,” between rounds of the game.
“ All hands on deck!” Everyone walks around individually.
“ Person Overboard!” Find a partner. One player kneels and the other pretends to look overboard.
“ Battlestations!” Make a group of three. One player in the middle holds arms up. The player in front points forward. The player in the back points back. This configuration resembles the three parts of the ship.
“ Lifeboat!” Find a group of four. Players simulate a lifeboat by placing their hands on each other’s shoulders.
Game- Toilet Tag
(outside game) How to Play: Define a clear boundary for play. Assign two plumbers (taggers) or more depending on the size of the group. When someone is tagged, she stands still and raises one of her arms in the air. To unfreeze players, a free player must “flush” his arms. The frozen player then says, “Whoosh,” and twirls around once before he is free. Players continue to move within the boundary releasing frozen players or standing waiting to be “flushed” to reenter the game.
How To Play: This activity can be used to reinforce phonemic awareness, such as ending sounds in a word. Choose a category, such as foods or animals. The first player says a word in the category, such as horse. The next player says a new word in that category with the last sound in the first person’s word, such as seal. Continue around the circle of players in this pattern: horse, seal, lion, etc.
Game- Twenty Questions
How to Play: The group sits in a circle. One person is chosen to stand in the middle of the circle with a card taped to her back. On the card is a word that names a person, place, or thing. The word can be related to subjects the class is studying, such as fish, mountains, rivers, capitols, books, characters, etc.) The child with the card on her back can ask up to twenty yes-or-no questions to try to figure out what word is written on her back. Each time a question is asked, the class responds with thumbs up to indicate “yes” or thumbs down to indicate “no”. To increase the difficulty, the group can agree ahead of time that certain questions or types of questions are not allowed. The child can make a guess at any time with a maximum of three guesses. After twenty questions, the child can ask for clues from the class before making a final guess.
Game- Vocabulary Scategories
Materials: Paper and pencil How To Play: Students form teams of three. Using topics provided by the leader, students list as many of the words under the topic as they can. Teams strive to list less obvious words. For each word listed only on one team’s list, that team receives a point. The overall goal is to establish and then challenge the class’s best total scoring of unique words.
Game- A Warm Wind Blows
How to Play: Move chairs into a circle. The number of chairs should be one less than the number of participants. Participants sit in the chairs and one person stands in the middle of the circle. She/he says, “A warm wind blows for anyone who____,” filling in the blank with a category such as “has a dog.” Everyone who fits that category comes into the center of the circle and then quickly finds a new place to sit. The one person who doesn’t find a seat now stands in the center of the circle and says, “A warm wind blow for anyone who ____,” naming a new category. The activity continues for several rounds. This lively activity is a great way for children to learn about each other and what they have in common with classmates. Encourage students to name categories that relate to interests, hobbies, and family rather than clothing or appearance. You could brainstorm a list of categories before beginning the activity.
Game- Win, Loose, or Draw
Materials: Chart paper and markers How To Play: This is a quick game inspired by the old TV show with the same name. Players pick a card with a word on it. Using the chart and markers, they illustrate the word by drawing while the rest of the group guesses the word. Whoever guesses the word first is the next to draw. Variations/Extensions: Connect the words to your curriculum.
Game- Zip Zap
How to Play: A player is chosen to be It. The other players learn the name of their ZIP (the person on their right), and the name of their ZAP (the person on their left). It approaches any player, points and says, “ZIP?” (or “ZAP?”) and counts to 5 as fast as possible. The chosen player must say the name of her neighbor on her right (or left if ZAP is said) before the count of 5. If the chosen player is successful, she is safe and the player who’s It stays It. If the chosen player fails she becomes It. However, the It may point to a player and say, “ZIP ZAP!” This means that all players must find a new seat while the It tries to get a seat so as not to be It again. The player without a seat is the new It.
How to Play: The person who begins the activity says “Zoom!” and turns their head quickly to a neighbor on either the right or the left. That person passes the zoom to the next person and so on around the circle. The idea is to go as fast as you can. You can challenge the group to go faster and use a stop watch to time them. Variations/Extensions:
Keep a record of the class’s best time.
The word “Eeeek!” (the sound of coming to a screeching halt) stops the Zoom and makes it reverse direction. In the first round, allow one Eeeek and then in subsequent rounds increase the number of Eeeeks. Remind children that the goal is to get the Zoom passed all the way around the circle. If only a few children have had a chance to say Eeeek you can end the activity by having everyone say Eeeek together.
For more accomplished players: Add in “Bump,”which signifies that you skip over the next person in the direction that the Zoom is already going.